Monday, 25 January 2016

La Soiree - Fringe World 2016 (24 January 2016)

The human body.

Perfect. Beautiful. Powerful. Strong. Supple. Lithe. Flexible. Sexy. Erotic. Mesmerising.

In a show of jaw dropping brilliance there was one unmistakeable conclusion – not only is this troupe comprised of superb entertainers but they also count among their number world class athletes.

From the strength and control of the English Gents Denis Lock and Hamish McCann to the lithesome dexterity of hula hoop artiste extraordinaire Satya;

From the smouldering acrobatics of Yammel Rodriguez (I’m coming to you Mooky... just hold on a sec) to the graceful precision of Bret Pfister on a suspended hoop;

Even to what some may consider the imperfection of the double-jointed, easily dislocated limbs of contortionist Captain Frodo;

The human form is featured in a celebration of untold, unimaginable hours of training, discipline, commitment, and exceptional skill.

The results are awe inspiring and breathtaking.

Not to be outdone, the troupe mixes up feats of supreme athleticism and grace with the soaring vocals of Miss Frisky; the showmanship of Clarke McFarlane’s Freddy Mercury worshipping Mario; and – wait for it – the acting ability of possibly the greatest living thespian ever to grace a Spiegeltent, Mooky Cornish.   

Wrangled together by Creative Producer and Host Brett Haylock this two hour extravaganza moves from one unforgettable act to another with such energy, pizazz and good humour that you can’t help but be simply enthralled.

I felt like a young boy again sitting in wide-eyed wonder as my brain tried to comprehend what my eyes were seeing. Thankfully my hands retained the ability to clap non-stop while the vocal chords hollered on their own accord. My grey matter lurched at the sheer improbability of feats I couldn’t even dream were humanly possible.

I have to tell you, there were also moments that were as sexy as all get out. Yammel’s act on a single strap while casually smoking a cigar with attitude to burn was incandescent. Hamish McCann’s pole-dancing routine was equally as hypnotic.

I boisterously sang along to Queen hits and even a classic from West Side Story. I grimaced as Captain Frodo somehow managed to fit his entire body through not one but two tennis rackets (I’ll never be able to watch the Australian Open or Wimbledon the same way ever again). I roared with laughter at Mario's and Mooky’s haphazard antics.

I listened in awe to Frisky’s haunting vocals. I gazed upwards as acts gyrated and cavorted above me. I squirmed as audience members were invited onstage terrified I might be one of them.

If theatre is a shared experience where we are moved, entertained, surprised and astounded then La Soiree is right up there among the very best on offer anywhere. I was so jazzed after the show I simply couldn’t sleep for hours.

Lastly, there was a new act that had been incorporated – one that reminded me of the scene from American Beauty with the plastic bag that dances in the wind - bubble blowing. An act performed by Denis Lock with understated English wit and delicacy whereas earlier he had been a rippling tower of phenomenal strength. The shapes he created and infused with smoke from his pipe were as ephemeral as they were astonishingly beautiful.

La Soiree indeed reminds us that there is so much beauty in the world.   

The two hour show is on at the Spiegeltent in the Museum Gardens until 6 March. Beg, borrow, steal to get a ticket.

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